Twenty-one local non-profit organizations will share in just under $978,000 following an announcement Monday of community gaming grants by the area’s three MLAs.
Ben Stewart, Steve Thomson, and Norm Letnick hosted representatives of 20 of the organizations at a morning reception to make the announcement. Following the reception, they went to the Kelowna YM-YWCA to present it with the largest of the grants, $175,000.
“Many of our local organizations consist of dedicated volunteers, without which, our community wouldn’t be the same,” said Stewart, MLA for Westside-Kelowna. “These gaming grants are a great way for the government to support our local groups who do so much for us.”
He said across Canada, volunteers contribute time each year equivalent to one million jobs.
The provincial gaming grants help local groups provide services and any amount, no matter how small, mean a lot to the recipients.
Jordan McAlpine if Inn From The Cold, a Kelonwa organization that helps the homeless, said the $24,000 her group received will play a big part in its operations.
“It allows up to do what we do,” she said.
The grant to Inn From The Cold will help fund its home support program, she said.
The grants also help more than just the groups that get the actual grants.
Lally Grauer of St. Michaels and All Angels Cathedral Cupboard, a group that operates out of the Kelowna church and provide food on an emergency basis for those in need, said her program compliments larger food programs like the Kelowna Foodbank and Inn From The Cold by offering food on days when the other programs do not distribute food. The church’s food program received a $5,000 grant this year.
Other groups that received grants included:
• Kelowna-Rutland Lions Club – $35,000
• Senior Citizens Association of B.C. #55 – $13,000
• Reach Out Youth Counselling & Family Services Society – $80,000
• Air Cadet League of Canada 909 Peregrine Sponsoring Committee – $4,000
• Kelowna District 4-H Council – $4,600
• Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society – $70,000
• C.N.I.B. – Southern Interior Region – $100,000
• Rutland Elementary Community School Society – $38,350
• New Opportunities For Women (Now) Canada Society – $60,000
• Spring Valley Seniors Society – $11,900
• Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society – $53,500
• Scouts Canada – 1st North Glenmore – $2,500
• Adult Integrated Mental Health Services Society – $30,000
• Daycare Connection Childcare Society – $14,000
• Rotary Club of Kelowna – $16,000
• Clubhouse Child Care Center – $100,000
• Central Okanagan Emergency Shelter Society – $66,000
• Project Literacy – Kelowna Society – $75,000
Letnick said after seeing gaming grants cut during the recent recession because of the financial constraints on government, he was happy to see them restored.
“This is more than an announcement of nearly $980,000. It’s an investment in the local programs and services that makes this such a great place to live,” said the Kelowna-Lake Country MLA.
Thomson noted the wide variety of groups receiving grants here.
“From childcare and seniors groups, to emergency shelters and counselling, these organizations make a wide variety of contributions in our region, he said.
Community Gaming Grants allow non-profit organizations to apply for provincial gaming revenues. In 2011/12, the government distributed a total of $135 million in gaming grants to more than 5,300 community groups.